Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.
As I read these verses, I am struck by the picture they paint of what a person who truly loves looks like. It really is a picture of engagement. It is an intentional choice to stay engaged when pride gets in the way, when disappointment, or disagreements leave us feeling hurt, angry, or lonely. It’s a willingness to show up again and again in truth and love, paving a way for God to be seen in us and through the way we choose to live our lives.
It’s beautiful, really. But, in order for that beauty to be seen, we need to choose. Choose to be vulnerable. Choose to live fully engaged with the people around us even when it’s hard…even when it’s messy.